Two killings within nine days of each other last month raised the number of homicides to four so far this year in Kent.
The city had eight homicides in 2020, but each one has been solved. Police Chief Rafael Padilla addressed last year’s homicides during his March 16 report to the City Council.
“It’s very tragic to have eight,” Padilla said. “But with our detectives work and dedication all eight have been cleared. Charges were filed in seven and the other one is pending with a suspect identified in an ongoing investigation.”
Padilla told the council that clearing cases means police consider the case solved.
“To have 100% clearance of homicides for an entire year is very impressive and an indication of how hard detectives work to get evidence they need and to bring closure to the families of the deceased,” Padilla said. “We have one of the most experienced and capable detective units anywhere in King County and probably the state.”
Padilla said it is difficult work.
“They see some of the worst incidents in the city,” he said. “There is a lot of trauma that comes with those type of calls.”
Mayor Dana Ralph thanked the chief for the update about the 2020 cases.
“Please pass our congratulations along to the detectives,” Ralph said. “That is an impressive clear rate.”
None of the cases from the last two years have gone to trial yet.
• 1: Jan. 7
Jovan A. Satterwhite, 41, was found dead with a gunshot wound to his left temple inside a 1986 Buick Regal in the 23500 block of 88th Avenue South. Marcus Bradley Williams was charged with second-degree murder for allegedly shooting Satterwhite over a road-rage incident.
• 2: Jan. 24
Nyaruot Chuol, 20, died from stab wounds during an attack at the Midtown 64 Apartments, 24615 64th Ave. S. Ahmed Osman was charged with first-degree murder for killing the woman he had dated.
• 3: March 21
Avery Wilcox, 27, found shot inside his car in a parking lot in the 20400 block of SE Kent Kangley Road. Police said they have a suspect but no arrest has been made as of March 31.
• 4: March 30
Man, whose age and identity have not yet been released, shot in the head in the 23800 block of 110th Avenue Southeast near the Mosaic Hills Apartments on the East Hill. Victim and suspect reportedly knew each other. No arrest has been made as of March 31.
• 1: March 19
Jose De Santiago Perez, 27, shot in North Park neighborhood across from Kent Station. Francisco Lopez-Cruz Jr. and Andy Castaneda-Rodriguez charged with first-degree murder for shooting rival gang member. Both men are United Lokotes (UL) gang members, according to charging documents. Each also faces assault charges for firing shots at the two men with Perez at the park. They also face assault charges for reportedly beating up and shooting a 15-year-old boy in Kent on March 10. The 15-year-old boy and Perez are both known members of South Side Loco (SSL), according to court papers.
• 2: April 6
Richard Hamilton, 30, died from multiple stab wounds during a dispute between two homeless men over a woman each man dated. Vitaliy Khrol charged with second-degree murder.
• 3: April 22
Destinie Gates-Jackson, 36, was strangled to death and found in the back of a vehicle along South 212th Street. Lester Thompson Jr. was charged with second-degree murder for allegedly killing his former girlfriend.
• 4: May 12
Dennis Wyatt, 47, died of gunshot wounds during a home invasion in the 24000 block of 35th Ave. S. The case remains under investigation but police have a suspect in custody.
• 5: Aug. 27
Lurdes Keymolen, 23, of Renton, died from blunt force trauma to many parts of her body consistent with being struck by a vehicle after a dispute with her boyfriend. Cordonte Walker was charged with first-degree murder for reportedly running Keymolen over with a vehicle in the 24700 block of 102nd Place Southeast.
• 6: Sept. 14
Kurtis Bruni, 33, was fatally stabbed during a fight over money in a parking lot at the Mosaic Hills Apartments, 10910 SE 238th St. Curtis Craft was charged with second-degree murder.
• 7: Nov. 23
Tomas Valencia, 20, died from multiple gunshot wounds. He was found in the bushes in the 14100 block of Southeast 282nd Street. The case remains under investigation. A suspect has been identified.
• 8: Dec. 1
Randi Jones, 40, died from blunt-force injury to her body. Paul Dervin was charged with second-degree murder for reportedly killing his estranged wife at her home in the 25100 block of 23rd Place South. Dervin was later arrested in Minnesota and returned to King County.
Note: Kent had four homicides in 2019 and seven in 2018.